Friday, May 23, 2008

2.45am in Crewe and Nantwich

Couldn't help staying up into the small hours to hear the results of the Crewe by election. Edward Timson won the seat with an astonishing 20,539 votes, compared to Labour Tamsin Dunwoody's 12,679 and the Liberal Democrat Elizabeth Shenton's 6,040.

The Conservative's share of the vote was a massive 49%. What was amazing was the swing from Labour to Conservative of 17.6%, and at 58.2%, voter turnout was unusually high too, making the result democratically sound.

The focus in the latter part of Tamsin Dunwoody's campaign on Conservative Edward Timson being a "toff" was unfortunate. It may well have started as a 'bit of fun' as Labour claim, but once the media had picked it up it assumed an altogether darker feel.

Nonetheless, campaign leaflets proclaiming Ms Dunwoody as "One Of Us Versus One Of Them" surely betrayed an insidious Old Labour tone.

So - 'mid term Labour blues' or the start of a Conservative landslide to rival Labour's 1997 success? Time will tell.

But tonight was a slap in the face for Gordon Brown, and his tenure at Number 10 is by no means assured.

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